AND THE MACEDONIAN
and the Macedonian Population.
It is well known from history that the Balkan
Peninsula was through centuries the theatre of the
struggle of the newly arrived nations, who either
moved across it further on, or settled on its territories.
But not one of the conquerors has succeeded to create
one unit out of the nations of this Peninsula, as its
oreographic construction made a great obstacle to such
When in the middle of the XlVth century the Turks
for the first time crossed over to Europe, they found in
the Balkan Peninsula three empires — the entirely
exhausted Byzantine Empire, weak and dependent
Bulgaria, and the powerful Serb Empire. The centre
of the Serb Empire was then not Serbia as she was
before the war of 1912, bvit the Old Serbia and Northern
Macedonia, with Skoplye (Uskub) as the capital town.
Having taken firm footing in the Balkan Peninsula,
the Turks have gradually extended their rule over it,
and even further outside its boundaries. For more
than four centuries the greater part of the territories of
that Peninsula belonged to the Turkish Empire, and
the nations, living on those territories, after stubborn
and desperate struggles, succumbed under their power.
Bat although all those nations during the whole time
of the Turkish domination were simply Turkish
" Rayah," mass of people without any rights, and
although they were constantlj'^ and in all sorts of
manners oppressed, still the great majority of them
succeeded in preserving their distinctive national
features : their religion, language, national customs,
etc. And when in the beginning of the XlXth century
the Turkish power began to decay, when some of the
Balkan nations rose up to liberate themselves from the
Turkish direct government, then the national conscious-
ness of the nations, up to then subjugated, commenced
strongly to awake, each group naturally aspiring to be
united with their natural elements.
That tendency is permanent and indomitable. It
has created in the Balkan Peninsula the questions of
Nationalities, of which one of the most important ones
is exactly The Jlacedoiiian Qufstion. That question is
still on the Order of the day, inasmuch as the Bulgars
continue to make efforts, although without any right
or reason, to prove to the world, that the population of
Macedonia is of the Bulgar origin.
To throw more and true light on that question, we
will here state, although in the shortest sketch, certain
historical undoubted facts, which will clearly prove
how entirely groundless is the Bulgarian assertion that
the Macedonian population is of the Bulgar origin.
When the Slavs an*ived in the Balkan Peninsula,
they have settled also in Macedonia. The Macedonian
Slavs are therefore a part of the Southern Slavs. But
besides the general name of Slavs the specific name of
the Serbs is early enough mentioned in Macedonia.
The Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenete,
wrote about the I'oOth year, that the town Srbitsa, in
the Salonica district along the river Bistritsa at the foot
of Olympus, got its name from the Serbs who lived
there. That town is known to-day under the Turkish
name Serf id je.
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 5
The Serbs came to the Balkan Peninsula already in
the first half of the Vllth century. The Serbs, like
other Slavs of the Peninsula, were of the Indo-European
race. Towards the end of the seventh century a
Mongol tribe, called Bulgars, invaded the territory
between the Danube and the Balkan, and subjugated
the Slavs who lived there. Being of quite a different
race, speaking quite different language, the Bulgars'
culture was quite different from that which the Balkan
Slavs possessed. The Southern Slavs, conquered by
the Bulgars, did not like their conquerors. Their
hatred was quite intelligible, seeing that their masters
were oppressors, men of different race, language and
culture. But notwithstanding all those differences and
hatred, the relations became gradually more intimate,
mutually influencing each other, accommodating them-
selves to each other, until at last they have melted into
one nation. The old Turanian name of the conquerors,
Bulgars, was retained as a common name of this mixed
The invaders, who arrived as Nomads, gradually
settled down and became agricultural people like the
Slavs were. Being in minority by their numbers they
were obliged to accommodate themselves to the Slav
race. Their laiiguage was gradually disappearing until
it was entirely replaced by the Slav language. This
process of assimilation of the Turanian invaders by the
Slavs took about 250 years until it was accomplished.
Accordingly the Slav language, which the Bulgars
adopted from the conquered Slavs, is the only circum-
stance which allows them to consider themselves as
belonging to the Slav group of nations. Otherwise
there would be no place for them in that group.
Therefore it is perfectly clear that the Macedonian
Slavs, Serbs, are something quite different than the
Let us now proceed further.
The territory on which the process of creation of the
Bulgar nation was accomplished is exactly that one
which the Bulgars have occupied on their arrival on
the Balkan Peninsula. It does not stretch towards the
West further of the river Iskra in the contemporary
Bulgaria. Nor it did stretch towards the South
further than to the Balkan mountain. Up to the year
800 the Bulgarian State's boundary on the West was
formed by Iskra, and till 861 year it did not go further
southwards than x\]) to the Balkan mountain. The
difference between the Bulgars, within the boundaries
which we just indicated, and the Slavs outside those
boundaries, has been very early pointed out by the
Byzantine writers. They call " Slovenia " all the
South-Slav territory from the Adriatic Sea to the
Mountain of Rhodope, to distinguish it from Bulgaria,
and the people living in that territory they call
" Slovens," to distinguish them from the Bulgars.
Even in our days the Bulgarian nation, living within
those boundaries, is by all its features quite distinct
from all other South Slavs.
When the Tsar of the Bulgars, Assen II., attacked
suddenly and defeated the Despot of Epirus, Theodor
Komnene, he became the master of all the territories
from Adrianople up to Durazzo, including Skoplye and
Oclirida. Out of gratitude for that victory Assen built
in his capital, Trnovo, the Church of 40 Martyrs. In
an inscription in that church he describes how he made
Despot Theodor his prisoner, and how he had subja-
gated all the countries, Greek, Albanian and Serb."
But that Bulgar reign in Macedonia lasted altogether
only sixteen years.
The war between the Serbian King Stephen Dechanski
on one side, and the allied Byzantines, under Andronic
III. and Bulgars, under their king Michael Shishman,
and the victory of Dechanski in the battle of Velboozde
(to-day's Kiustendil) on 2& July, 1330, were of immense
importance for the solution of the question of the
supremacy of the Serbs over Bulgars during the entire
middle age, and for the destiny of Macedonia as well.
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 7
When in the year 1346 the Serbian Archbishop was
proclaimed in Macedonia the Patriarch of the Serbs
and Greeks of the Serb State, the Bulgars not only had
made no protest, but that proclamation was made with
the consent of the Bulgarian Patriarch in Trnovo.
Further, the Bulgars have not protested when, imme-
diately after that, the Serbian King Dooshan was
crowned in Macedonia as the Tsar of the Serbs, while
the Byzantines and the Greeks have made their pro-
tests. All that Bulgaria did consciously, considering
Macedonia as Serbian country.
The Turks have conquered Macedonia after the battle
on Maritsa (1371) from the Serbs as a Serb country.
In all the monuments and chronicles, Serb and foreign
ones, it is reported that in the battle on Maritsa the
Serb army was defeated, and that in that battle the
Serb King Vookashin, and some other Serb dynasts,
But even that fateful battle has not destroyed the
Serb reign in Macedonia, and in that country the Serb
influence continued to be paramount all up to the
death of Sultana Mara (1487), the daughter of the
Serbia's ruler George Brankovich.
The national consciousness of the Macedonian Serbs
has been kept alive during the whole time of the
Whenever since the middle of the XVIIth century
Austria attacked the Turks, Serbs from all Serb coun-
tries flocked into the Austrian army as volunteers to
help to liberate the Serb countries from the Turkish
Prince Eugen of Savoy, having won the decisive
victory over the Turks at Zenta in the year 1697, gives
public and warm praise to the Serb volunteers, who
have helped essentially to win that fateful victory.
The Serbs fought under the command of their own
commander, Voyvode John Monasterly, whose very
name shows that he was a Serb of Macedonia, and who
also later was something like a political leader of the
Serbs in Hungary.
When in 1788 Austria declared war to Turkey, Serbs
fi'om all Serb territories went as volunteers to join the
Austrian army to fight for the liberation of Serbia.
That army had on that occasion nine officers, born
Serbs of Macedonia, besides other men from that
When in the beginning of the XlXth century Serbia
started her own struggle for liberation, there was not a
corner of the Serb territories from which Serb volun-
teers did not hurry to help their brethren. Some of
the Macedonian Serbs occupy prominent places in the
history of Serbia's liberation. Whole Macedonia par-
ticipated by her soul in that liberation, and it could be
justly said that the great number of the Serbs of
Macedonia took part in the creation of the free Serbia.
It is true that the Bulgars in the middle ages reigned
in Macedonia for a short time. But they took that
country by the force of arms, without any other right.
As the Bulgars at that time were only l)y half the Slavs
and by half the Mongols, could they have the power to
assimilate the purely Slav element which then lived in
Macedonia ? Evidently not !
And then where is that right on which the Bulgars
lean when pretending that the Macedonian population
is of the Bulgar origin, and that therefore Macedonia
ought to belong to them ?
Liberated principally by the Rtissian help and co-
operation of the Serbian nation and its army, the
Bulgars have since the San Stefano Treaty (1878) con-
tracted Megalomania and the desire for hegemony in
the Balkan Peninsula. As it is well known that Treaty
let Macedonia, large portion of the Old Serbia, and
even some parts of present Serbia, enter into composi-
tion of Bulgaria. According to that Treaty Bulgaria
was to comprise a territory of 164,000 square kilometres
with 4| million inhabitants.
The motives, from which General Ignyatiyeff attached
Macedonia to Bulgaria, were by no means of ethno-
graphic nature ; they were simply the motives of the
autocratic Russia's imperialistic policy.
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 9
Although the Berlin Congress of 1878 had reduced
the extent of the San Stefano Bulgaria, the Bulgars
commenced since that time to claim Macedonia as
rightly belonging to them, and to dream only of Great
Bulgaria as drawn up in the San Stefano Treaty. For
some time the Russians encouraged them in that atti-
tude. Those Russian sympathies for the Bulgarians
were spread in other countries too, and there are people
who in consequence believe that after all the Bulgars
must have had some right on Macedonia.
In the study of this question it is important to
remember a fact. After the Serbs in the beginning of
the XlXth century have succeeded to liberate a part of
their country by an open and through years sustained
revolution against the Turks, the Serb people remaining
under the direct rule of Turkey were bitterly perse-
cuted, hated and cruelly maltreated by the Turks. No
Serb was sure of his life or his property. A man ran
all sorts of risks if he were to call himself a Serb before
the Turkish authorities or before the Turks, because
the name " Serb " was a synonyme for a revolutionary
and an enemy of the Turks. At the same time the
name " Bulgar " became the synonyme of a quiet, loyal
and obedient " rayah." Therefore it is not astonishing
that many a Serb of Macedonia, to protect himself
against the persecution, answered the question "to
what nationality you belong ? " by saying that he is a
Bulgar. That was often the only means to save his
own life and property, or the life of his family. This
difi&cult position of the Serl)s in Macedonia the Bulgars
have later on cleverly exploited, by saying that the
people of Macedonia call themselves Bulgars, and that
therefore they really are Bulgars.
This falsification received a mighty support since the
creation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870. Having
obtained the right to have their own bishops, priests
and teachers in all Turkish territories — which right
was denied to the Serbs — the Bulgars transformed that
concession into a mighty instrument of propaganda.
The Russian, Bulgar and Serb churches use the same
old Slavonic language, which, although not identical
with the vernacular languages of those peoples, is quite
near enough to be understood. Placed before the
alternative, either to continue to attend the Greek
churches, the Greek language of which they did not
understand, or to attend the Bulgar churches, the old
Slavonic language of which they could understand, the
Serbs of Macedonia naturally decided to attend the
Bulgar churches. Entering tlius into permanent con-
nection through life with the Bulgar priests, who
performed to them all the church rites, baptisms,
matrimonies, funerals, the Serbs of Macedonia came
under the permanent influence of the Bulgar political
propagators. Yet they were able to preserve their
language, their customs (for instance the " Slava,"
which Bulgars have not) national songs, costumes, &c.
Having no other schools, except the Bulgar and
Greek schools, the Serbs were obliged to send their
children to the Bulgar schools, as the Bulgar language
by its similarity with the Serl) language was more
accessible to the children than the Greek language of
the Greek schools. This school dilemma of the Serbs the
Bulgar teachers were exploiting for the benefit of the
Bulgar propaganda. Namely : they declared to the
Serbs, that they could take their children into the
Bulgar schools only if they — the parents — declare
formally that they themselves were Bulgars ! Many
Serbs, practically having no choice, accepted those
conditions. But even this moral coercion to the
denationalisation did not satisfy the Bulgar propaganda.
It thought it necessary to undertake still more drastic
measures for the rapid Bulgarisation of Macedonia.
Namely, dui-ing the last thirty years the Bulgars
introduced terrorism as their ally in Macedonia. The
horrible activities of the Bulgar Commitadji's bands
are well known. By murder and fire they were forcing
the Serbs of Macedonia to declare themselves to belong
to the Bulgar nationality !
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 11
But even this roughest and most cruel method did
not succeed to eradicate the national consciousness of
the Macedonian Serbs. The best proof of that was
given by the events of 1912, when the victorious Serb
army liberated the Macedonian people from the Turkish
yoke of five centuries, and when that people received
the Serbs as their own brethren and liberators.
Having so far by the historical facts proved the com-
plete groundlessness of the Bulgar pretensions on
Macedonia, it is necessary that we should, for the sake
of better information, consider and solve the question :
Which territories properly form Macedonia ?
The name of Macedonia was limited on the majority
of the older maps (since the XVIth century), as well as
on some maps with classical nomenclature or with
reminiscences on such nomenclature, only on the coast
around Salonica, the plain of Salonica, especially Cam-
pagna, and on the territory west and north-west of the
same, with to-day's Moglena, The principal towns of
that true Macedonia were Edessa (Voden) and Pella
(to-day's village Postoe). Later the Macedonian king-
dom was extended, and the name was given to the
entire territory of that kjngdom.
DiflPerent was the conception of Macedonia during
the time of the Roman Republic and in the beginning
of the Empire. The Upper Struma and Yardar have
as yet not belonged to it, but in the beginning Mace-
donia comprised also Greece up to Morea, Thessaly and
Epirus, the Southern and Central Albania up to Drim ;
but since the time of Augustus only the last named
countries without Greece were comprised in Macedonia.
In the Byzantine times that conception was often
During the Serbian and Bulgarian conquests the
name has been almost entirely lost. Btit towards the
end of the XVth and during the XYIth century many
Balkan countries, as for instance, Old Sei-bia, Zetta,
Albania, Biilgaria, Bosnia, Hertsegovina, were marked
as Macedonia. The foreign and national authors com-
prised all those cou]irries under the name of Macedonia,
simply, as J. Ruvarats proved it, as a reminiscence on
the classical world and classical nomenclature.
Besides this, just mentioned, oldest conception of
Macedonia, the most competent scientific authority on
the geography of the Balkan Peninsula, Professor
Cvijich, of the Belgrade University, has not found any
confirmation for other historical conceptions of Mace-
donia. But on many of the mentioned maps ]\Iacedonia
appears to comprise this territorj^ starting from the
southern boundary of the Scopska, Crna gora (Kara
Dagh) down the Vardar to Salonica. Consequently
Macedonia comprises principally the central and lower
valley of the Vardar, the country around great lakes
in the West and up to Struma, and on some points up
to Mesta in the East.
What is "Old Serbia" and what are
HER Boundaries ?
Now we come to another question, namely : What is
" Old Serbia " and what are her boundaries ? The
answer ought to be supplied by historical and scientific
The conception of Old Serbia and Macedonia can be.
scientifically fixed only on the basis of those maps
which have appeared before the first decades of the
XlXth century, before the liberation of Serbia and
before the appearance of the separate and antagonistic
Serb and Bulgar tendencies.
Professor Cvijich has studied all the maps since the
XVIth century, when better and more complete maps
of the European countries began to be made, in which
instead of the classical names the national names of
the countries, provinces and other geographical objects
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 13
were introduced. From that time up to the end of the
XYIIIth centur}- the most exact maps of the Balkan
Peninsula are the Italian ones, more especially the
Venetian ones, then the Mercator's maps and those of
the " French Roj'al Geographers."
On all those maps the name Serbia stretches to some
territories to the south of the mountain Sliar and of the
Skopska Crna Gora. On the maps, made by the
" Geographers of the Venetian Republic,"* at the name
of the town Skoplye it is regularly marked '■'Metropolis
della Sey^viay On great number of maps prepared by
Joh. Bapt. Homann — from the first half of the XVIIIth
century — Serbia comprises Skoplye, Kratovo and Kius-
tendil districts. Macedonia on those maps begins
considerably to the South from Skoplye.
On the maps which the heirs of Homann continued
to publish in the beginning of the XlXth century
(1802, 1805, etc.). Serbia comprises not only Xovi Bazar
and Kossovo tei'ritories, but also Seoplye and Kratovo.
So it was in all better old geographies in which Serbia
was described by her boundaries.
Further, it is known that that conception of Serbia
was not only cartographic and literary, but lived with
the people themselves. The inhabitants of Kratovo,
Skoplj^e, Owche Folye called their country always
Serbian country. Therefore it was quite natural, that
after the liberation of Serbia, the Skoplye, Kratovo and
other territories of the Kossovo Vilayet have been called
Old Serbia for the distinction from the autonomous
TJte conception " Old Serbia " has therefore not been
created for the sake of the natiimal pretensions, and the
Southern boundaries of Old Serbia must be extended
beyond Shar Planina, in the main on the territories of
the former Kossovo Vilayet^ on the territories which
to-day the Bulgars — as ive have seen — without any
foundation call Macedonia., only in order to justify
their claims on that purely Serb country.
*V. Cornell of 1698 year in Corso Geographico.
Let us now conclude. It is very difficult to draw an
absolutely exact boundary between the Serb and Bulgar
elements in Macedonia, taking that country in her
wider conception. The principal reason for that diffi-
culty consists in that circumstance, that those two
peoples — according to their tongue so similar to each
other — so imperceptibly pass one into the other in the
limitroph territories, that it is impossible to say quite
exactly where the Serb ceases and where the Bulgar
commences. Still less is that possible to fix for the
earlier periods, that we could be enabled according to
their ethnographic condition to measure later changes.
It could he, Jioivever, taken as approximately exact,
that the ethnogt^aphic boundary between the Serbs and
Bulgcu's in Macedonia runs by the valley of the river
Struma. To the East of that line the Bulgar s are in
majority, and to the West the Serbs.
The North-Eastern part of Macedonia is inhabited by
the Bulgar element. Those Bulgars are called SJioppi
(in plural, Shop in singular). They have emigrated
into that part of Macedonia from Samokov, Dupnitsa
and Kiustendil mountainous districts. They occupy
now the basin of Razlog, the valley of Mesta up to
Momina Klissura, and also the former Upper Djuma
district along the Struma up to the town of Melnik.
Towards the South in this part of the Eastern Mace-
donia Bulgars are mixed with Turks and Pomaks, and
on the coast they are mixed with the Greek element.
The Serb element in the Central and Western Mace-
donia is mixed with other non-Slav nations — Albanians,
Turks, Greeks and Arumuns. There are also many,
and distributed throughout all the countrj-, the so-called
Muhadjirs (the emigrants) from Serbia, Bulgaria,
Bosnia, Hertsegovina and Montenegro. Amongst the
Serbs in Macedonia live also former Christians con-
verted to Islam. Those of Kichevo call themselves
Apovtsi, and those of Tikvesh call themselves Turks.
All the Macedonian converts to Muhammedan faith
speak Serb language, and have preserved many of the
AND THE MACEDONIAN POPULATION. 15
The Turkish population of Macedonia can be divided
in three great groups, one of the Sea-coast, one of the
Vardar, and the third one of Sari-Gyol. Besides those
three groups there are Turks also living in all the towns
The Greek population of Macedonia forms two special
settlements, one on the South-East of Macedonia on
the yEgean coast, and the other in the vallej^ of the
river Bistritsa, in the Western Macedonia.
Arumuns are the Roman nation in the Balkan Penin-
sula. They have two distinct tribes, the Karaguns and
Farsherioti. Arumuns are to be found in all parts of
Macedonia as tradesmen, innkeepers and shepherds.
The Arumiins of Moglena form a third group, occupied
The Albanians live mixed with Serbs in the North-
Western part of Macedonia.
Jews are to be found in towns, but most of them in
Gipsies are dispersed everywhere in the country.
And at last — there are Circassians in the district of
Examining all the written monuments with reference
to the Slavs of Macedonia, from the oldest time to the
XlXth century, there is not a single monument in
which the Macedonians had called themselves Bulgars,
or their language the Bulgarian language.
ttLltBURV SUPPLY CO. PRINTERS j CREEO LANE. LONSON, E.C.